Military service is a shared sacrifice. To safeguard security and liberty, the nation asks armed forces members to put themselves in harm’s way—sometimes at the price of physical injury and emotional damage, a price often shared by these individuals, their families, and communities.
Adler University’s fully online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology degree program draws on our longstanding expertise in military cultural competency and commitment to social justice, producing psychology and mental health professionals with the specialized training to work effectively with active-duty military, veterans and their families. Online program graduates will be able to offer compassionate, evidence-based approaches to issues such as suicide, substance use and dependency, physical abuse, and the lingering effects of moral injury.
Nearly all of our faculty members are veterans, experienced military professionals with firsthand understanding of this unique culture and a deep commitment to Adler’s mission.
A comprehensive online curriculum immerses students in every aspect of mental health and the U.S. military, including operational psychology in the military, the psychology of conflict, trauma and loss, mental health law in the military, understanding the VA healthcare system,
and much more.
This online degree program is ideal for active-duty military personnel, veterans, retired service members and military spouses who want a new career, people currently working in military-focused support programs, and counselors and therapists who are interested in pursuing this specific field of study. Candidates are able to continue their existing professional and personal commitments as they complete assignments and coursework around a flexible online schedule.
All of our online programs are delivered with the academic rigor and personal attention that has distinguished Adler University for more than 60 years. Earn your Military Psychology master’s degree fully online from an institution that shares your values of social justice and community-based solutions.
Adler University’s fully online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology is a 37 credit-hour program. Courses are eight weeks in length, and this program can be completed online in just over two years with scheduled breaks.
The M.A. in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology online program is offered in the following sequence of classes, including a final capstone course:
Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology
MAMP 001 (0)
Student orientation provides new students with an overview of Adler University policies and procedures, systems, personnel, resources, and organizations. Newly admitted students are expected to complete this mandatory orientation prior to enrollment. Failure to complete orientation prior to the 10th day of their first course may result in dismissal from the program.
MAMP 500 (3)
Survey of Military Psychology
Military psychology addresses the behavioral health challenges of those who are serving or have served, and their families, whether in times of peace or conflict. This course will cover how the specialty of military psychology was historically established and evolved, and is distinguished from other branches of psychology. The various ways military psychology is applied to leadership, organizational behavior, human resources, and operational psychology will be explored as well.
MAMP 501 (3)
Operational Psychology for the Military
This course provides students with the opportunity to learn about how operational psychology is used in the military and the effects it has on those who are serving or have served, and their families. The specific aspects of operational psychology that will be discussed are unit cohesion, industrial and organizational psychology, psychological operations (PsychOps), human terrain intelligence, military intelligence, and the promotion of behavioral health and welfare, among others. Operational psychology practices will be analyzed with a social justice lens.
MAMP 502 (3)
Mental Health Law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of civilian mental health law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and the military justice system. Students will examine the history and evolution of both civilian mental health law and UCMJ, and their application into the military environment. Specific jurisdictional issues and case law will be reviewed.
MAMP 503 (3)
The Psychology of Conflict and Operations other than War
This course examines the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual impact of conflict and operations other than war. This course also provides students with an understanding of the psychological requirements (i.e. demands and consequences) of military operations ranging from the continuum of conflict (war, insurgency, and terrorism) to operations other than war (disaster response, humanitarian operations, and peacekeeping).
MAMP 504 (3)
Ethics, Morality and Social Justice in the Military
This course is a comprehensive study of ethical, moral, and socially just behavior within a military context. This course allows for an exploration of self and negotiation of various world views as they relate to the general subjects of just war theory, laws of war, rules of engagement, and the international community’s laws governing war and conflict. The course intends to promote both discussion and debate centered on addressing behaviors that uphold the principles of military ethics and social justice, particularly behaviors that challenge the status quo of organizations that deviate from these standards and codes of conduct.
MAMP 505 (3)
War, Trauma, Grief, Death and Loss
This course examines the impact of cumulative combat stress from a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual perspective. It focuses on the range of psychological distresses of those who are serving or have served, and their families. Causes of distress—such as combat exposure, being wounded or permanently disabled in conflict, exposure to weapons of mass destruction, being a prisoner-of-war, and sexual trauma—will be discussed. Students will learn how to distinguish between common and maladaptive reactions to the range of stressful events inherent in exposure to trauma, grief, death, and loss.
MAMP 506 (3)
Psychological Resilience and Positive Psychology
This course explores how resiliency theory and positive psychology can be applied to the military community in an effort to minimize the long-term impact of stress related to life in the military. Students will first review existing programs and then propose potential ways to institute resiliency frameworks in various settings. Students will explore the role of educational and prevention programming in mitigating psychological distress by better preparing military personnel for the impact their job can have on individual and family life.
MAMP 507 (3)
This course serves as the foundation for completing the Community Engagement and Capstone projects. Students will identify a current or emerging topic related to their Community Engagement and Capstone projects. To support completion of the required projects, this course introduces students to the basics of social science research methodology. Students will learn how to conduct literature reviews, generate research designs, and select variables and participants for study. Students are exposed to philosophical debates about ethical and culturally relevant strategies for studying human behavior, and receive guided opportunities to critique current research by identifying the research method and design, identifying and explaining design limitations, and making recommendations for improvement.
MAMP 509 (3)
Department of Defense and VA Health Care Systems
This course provides a comprehensive historic and current overview of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Administration’s (VA) healthcare delivery systems. It will provide a primer on the structure and functions of their medical and behavioral health delivery systems. The range of clinical services that will be examined includes battlefield care, critical care and long-term care, along with the battle injury specialties (e.g. traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and burns). Other public and private medical care and behavioral health delivery systems for those who are serving or have served, and their families will be reviewed. Special focus will be on alternative and innovative outcome-oriented programming.
MAMP 510 (3)
Substance Use in the Military
This course examines alcohol and substance use and addictive use disorders along with other addictive disorders experienced by those who are serving or have served, and their families. The biological, psychological, social, and spiritual impact of use within the military will be detailed. Current research literature regarding substance use will be reviewed for evidence-informed models of education, prevention, intervention, and treatment. Information will be provided that will facilitate a basic understanding of the pharmacological, physiological, and medical aspects of substance use. Students will survey the common screening tools used to recognize the signs and symptoms of various forms of substance use within the military community. The historical patterns of alcohol and other drug usage, the introduction of self-help groups, and evolution of prevention, intervention, and treatment delivery systems will be surveyed.
MAMP 508 (3)
Culture and Diversity in the Military
This course provides an overview of the history and evolution of military culture. Particular focus will be paid to the psychological, sociological, and spiritual dimensions of the military. The impact on leadership, organizational structure, diversity, and military core values will be examined. Special attention will be given to the study of diversity and the cultural characteristics of race, gender, family, age group, ethnicity, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation, and their influence on shaping today’s military culture. Specific milestones such as the desegregation of the military, opening up the military to women, and the repeal of “don’t ask–don’t tell” will serve as case examples for study and discussion. The aim of the course is to provide the learner with a better understanding of military culture in order to develop a greater sensitivity in communications and interactions with those who are serving or have served, and their families.
MAMP 511 (3)
Social Services and Behavioral Healthcare to Veterans, Retirees, Military, and their Families
(Taken concurrently with MAMP 512)
This course will specifically examine the social service and behavioral health systems that are responsible for providing psychiatric, mental health, substance use, and family care for those who are serving or have served, and their families. Following guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) the course will promote an understanding of promising, best, and evidence-based practices in suicide prevention, mental health, and substance use treatment. Students will learn about both government and nongovernment social and behavioral health services and programs (such as veterans courts and veterans homeless programs). They will also learn about strategies to increase appropriate use of various reimbursement methods and Department of Veterans Affairs resources.
MAMP 512 (1)
(Taken concurrently with MAMP 511)
The capstone project will be the culminating product of the Research Methods Course, and a comprehensive review of programmatic learning. As such, it will include a summary of scholarship and practice related to an issue or phenomenon of primary interest to the student, and a proposal of future research to add to knowledge in this area.